IMG_0811A research study was commissioned by Hubspot in conjunction with MIT to look at the state of the multi-trillion dollar world of ecommerce marketers. Some interesting conclusions from the data are less encouraging than others.

This blog was published a year ago highlighting this study. We have republished this blog with 2015 tips and trends. This is important as the holiday buying seasons will quickly be upon us.

1. While Important, Black Friday & Cyber Monday Are Not Be-All / End-All Of The Holidays – when putting together the marketing calendar for the 2015 holiday season, marketers should prepare for a 60-day marathon, not a 2-day sprint.

Consumers have their deal-seeking antennas up in November and December, and savvy marketers will cater to these needs with a string of valuable offers throughout the entire season.

2. Mobile E-Commerce, Particularly On Apple Devices, Is Booming – Now’s the time to get on the mobile e-commerce train, if you haven’t already. For marketers who already offer mobile apps and mobile-optimized sites, our recommendation would be to segment mobile vs. non-mobile customers: How are mobile customers different in their demographics, marketing preferences, and shopping behavior?

3. Email Marketing & Online Search Were The Key To Holiday Success – More than ever, winning in email and search marketing means winning in online retail. It is worth noting that the overall holiday growth rate of 15.6% is not uniform: The fastest-growing retailers grew twice as much.

What separates the wheat from the chaff, among other things, is using online marketing channels such as search and email marketing more effectively.

4. Social Commerce Didn’t Happen In Holiday 2014. Maybe In 2015? – Retailers are still figuring out how to drive e-commerce purchases from their social media activities. It is likely we’ll see a lot of innovative, creative experiments this year on all social media networks.

Ecommerce and Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing methodologies are becoming the norm among ecommerce marketers.

  • 55% of ecommerce businesses invest in inbound marketing and 22% of respondents don’t know if they do inbound marketing at all.
  • 54% of B2C ecommerce companies implement inbound marketing, compared to 60% of B2B ecommerce companies


  • 67% of marketers at ecommerce companies invest in blogging.
  • 47% of marketers at ecommerce companies blog at least once a week, with 14% of marketers blogging at least once every day.
  • 64% of B2B inbound commerce companies blog at least once a week, while 71% of B2C inbound commerce companies blog at least once a week.
  • Companies that describe themselves as “customer focused” are 24% more likely to blog at least once a week than companies that describe themselves as “sales focused”.
  • Companies that are focused on increasing customer life time value are 216% more likely in blogging. 78% of ecommerce companies are focused on increasing customer LTV and are investing in blogging.
  • 69% of companies whose major source of customers was from organic and direct traffic blog at least once a week.

Company Focus and Priorities

  • Overall, 40% of inbound commerce companies are customer focused.
  • Customer centric ecommerce companies are 107% more likely to see an ROI from inbound marketing than sales focused companies.
  • Very small businesses (less than 50 employees) are 145% more likely to self-identify as customer centric than large companies (more than 200 employees), which tend to be more product focused (with 40% of large companies self-identifying as product centric).
  • Companies that self-identify as “sales Focused” and are primarily focused on new customer acquisition over selling to existing customers are 30% less likely to rate “customer happiness” as “very important”.

Customer Education

  • 58% of ecommerce marketers use educational content for pre-transactional conversions.
  • Companies that self-identify as customer focused rather than sales focused are 491% more likely to use educational content than coupons.
  • Large companies are 25% more likely to use educational content to convert contacts prior to a sale than small companies.
  • Businesses that offer educational content on their website are 527% more likely to see ROI from inbound marketing (IM) than businesses who offer coupons.
  • 42% of ecommerce marketers prefer social media to educate consumers.

Visits and Customer Sources

  • Organic search remains the largest driver of ecommerce traffic, at 22% on average. However, social media has now passed PPC and Email with 17.37% of traffic share.
  • Direct and organic search traffic are the primary drivers of ecommerce customers with 40% of total customers attributed to those two sources.


  • 65% of businesses are investing in marketing personalization.
  • 74% of businesses who got a majority of their customers from email, rated personalize emails as at least somewhat important.
  • 82% of businesses who got a majority of their customers from direct & organic, rated personalized product recommendations as at least somewhat important.

Shopping Cart Insights

  • 60% of marketers don’t know their current cart abandonment rate.
  • Of marketers that can track cart abandonment, only 42% of companies are nurturing abandoned carts. B2C companies are 128% more likely to implement cart nurturing than B2B Companies.
  • Of marketers that track cart abandonment, 66% successfully recover less than 20% of abandoned carts.

Cart Nurturing

  • 59% of ecommerce marketers primarily use email for abandoned cart nurturing.
  • Customer-focused companies are 12% more likely to demonstrate ROI from cart nurturing than sales-focused companies
  • 46% of businesses that tracked abandoners’ spending stated that customers spent more than the original cart value after being nurtured.
  • 31% of marketers use coupons in abandoned cart nurturing.
  • Using educational content is 32% more likely to recover cart abandoners that spend more than the original amount than using coupon codes.
  • 72% of marketers that do abandoned cart nurturing send the first message within the first day.
  • Businesses that send the first nurturing message within 1 hour of the abandonment are 326% more likely to see ROI from abandoned cart nurturing.
  • Customers who receive nurturing emails with product descriptions included are 52% more likely to spend more money than the original cart value when they return.

About the survey – HubSpot fielded our 2014 State of Ecommerce Marketing Survey between January 07 and February 02, 2014. The query took the form of an online survey, to which there were 1,099 qualified complete and partial responses from marketing and business professionals in 45 countries on six continents, including North America, Europe, Asia/Pacific, Australia, South/Central America, and Africa.

Like any other type of website, content is still the critical issue. Web content writers must understand the special content requirements of ecommerce site. The websites where consumers buy the most are those with new content that predisposes them to buy and keeps them coming back until they are ready to buy. These sites understand key principles of content strategy.

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